tv Public Affairs CSPAN February 23, 2013 4:30pm-6:30pm EST
deal with that, then, in terms of security? you are talking about centralization and figuring out how to defend yourself from outside. how do you defend yourself from people who by definition almost have to know what it is you are doing in order to protect >> if you have a statewide security operations center, you can have software and human eyeballs looking for activity. if somebody is doing something they should not be doing, if you can pre define what those rules are, at it will alarm. >> is this the kind of internal affairs you have any police department? >> it is automated. it works better. >> who has access to what.
doing a better job with identity management. >> the reason i brought it up is because when this was being done it was not been done for criminal purposes. it was being done because people got too much time on their hands. it was a prank. the problem i thought was that what if somebody else who is looking for a way into people's tax returns, if you are doing that kind of thing, doesn't it open the possibility of other people realizing you're doing that? >> we focus a lot on the x
terminal. the same question is who should have access to this. >> we have had some light moments. this is very serious. we have only scratched the surface. se're figuring out the state's with the best policies. we should be open and transparent about these things. this is one area where perhaps that does not serve as well initially. we will be having that top- secret briefing tomorrow. tomorrow we will announce for the secret location is.
we had these. the second is, and security. the fourth has to do a public safety communications. to these were amended suit reflect the current status of key issues. they were addressed here today. it was amended to include language regarding the importance of federal collaboration with state to enhance food supply it security. this was amended to include language of federal coordination to serve our and nations. they are all the members of the committee. i would suggest that we consider
them together as a bloc. any comments are motions? >> i knew that we consider the policies. >> you mentioned been vetted by staff. the national voters association is one of the finest groups of people the reason i am confidently casting the vote is because of the extraordinary good work. >> that sounds like a government from gov. abercrombie. >> this concludes our meeting. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
>> at age 25, she was one of the wealthy is with those in the colonies. while in the mid-40's she was considered an enemy by the british. later she would become the nation's first first lady at age 57. meet martha washington. we will visit some of the places that influence your li -- her life including philadelphia. to be part of the conversation with your phone calls, tweets and facebook posts live monday night at 9:00 eastern >> and next, a top strategist from the romney and its obama campaign discuss polls and candidates. this is moderated by chuch todd.
[applause] >> good evening. i am the student engagement chair for the student advisory council. my role has excitements for involvement in helping to provide avenues for this type of strategy. it is clear that this is important for fostering good citizens and leaders. many were directly involved this past year. advocating for the candidates. even more students were indirectly involved in the
campaign is whether we facebook ed. it becomes more complicated when we analyze of the factors. it is an understatement for me say this is one of the most difficult the. we have speakers who are experts on this trade. in alphabetical order, these are the speakers -- david axelrod shifted to political consulting in the mid1980's. his role is senior strategist for the 2012 campaign. he is currently the founder and institute director for the university of chicago. eric fehrnstrom began as a reporter for the boston herald. afterward, he became the then current medications director for mitt romney and was a top aide in strategist for the romney
campaign. larry grisolano has been involved in politics and campaigns for the past 30 years. he has been involved in some of the most important political battles both in 2008 and 2012 elections. he served in the obama campaign. jim messina quickly rose to prominence across the country. he became the obama deputy chief of staff for 2009 and went on to become the manager of the obama reelection campaign in 2012. she worked with governor romney where she then served as his chief of staff and was a top
adviser for the romney campaign. ms. myers is one of the inaugural fellows. in 2008, she served as a battleground state erector for the obama campaign. matt rhoades has been a lead strategist for the republican national committee. he was a research analyst in the 2000 elections. he was the director of research for the 2004 bush campaign. he was the campaign manager for romney. stuart stephens has gone on to elect more governors than any other current republican media consultant. he has also worked on campaigns overseas. he was involved in that media image for romney in 2008 and
was a senior strategist for the presidential campaign in 2012. finally, our moderator for tonight is mr. chuck todd. he has experience as an editor and is an on-air political analyst. he is the current role of the chief white house correspondent for nbc. the panel will cover the 2012 election and campaign on a macro level and we will shed the light on what went right, what went wrong, and what went unexpectedly. we would like to thank strategist for giving us to host them. the caliber and expertise of the guests is extraordinary. it is an honor to introduce all of them for what should be a fruitful discussion. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming.
want to hear from everyone. i want to begin with -- when did someone decide to run for president? how does that conversation take place? i want to start with stuart. when did you have the conversation with governor romney? a lot of us assumed he was running for president the whole time. when did he decide to run? when did he tell you? when was it clear it was time to go? >> there is a great misconception that he land immediately afterwards. this assumption was that the economy would continue to improve or would improve. i think running and losing in 2008 was liberating for him. he found that he could be happy.
we kept talking. he wanted to talk about it. we had a busy 2010 client schedule. he finally said, on election day 2010, if you cannot do anything for your client, why don't we meet? ok. we can do that. my partner and i met him. we met him in boston. that was when i got a sense that he was intending to run. >> he was serious? and he made the decision? >> yeah.
>> covering the white house, he always viewed mitt romney is the face of the republican party. is that unfair? >> no. after the 2008 election, we were thinking about the future. he asked me who i thought the nominee would be in 20 20. i said, mitt romney. i knew we were heading into an economic maelstrom. i spoke earlier to a group about this opposites theory of presidential races. romney and the business background seem like the kind of person who could emerge from that. on election day, that election
sort of altered my thinking. it was clear he to me that there were forces in every public and party that would control that nomination process. it would be challenging for any nominee to navigate those forces. they would have to make difficult choices in order to be the nominee. there was an element of doubt. we did think it was the likely guy. >> was there every sign you that he would not do it? >> yeah. he had really relaxed in 2009. ann had a health scare. so, 2009, who knows. the time that i came to think
that he was looking to run was right after the scott brown race when he sat down with eric and said we need to get another person. let's talk to matt rhoades. i thought that was a pretty good indication that he was very serious about thinking of running. >> i was with governor romney in 2008 during that presidential campaign. on the plane back to washington, he was busy trying to arrange people's lives. he did not sound like a person who was plotting another run. he seemed exhausted by politics. but then there were developments that happened. the chris christie victory in
new jersey. bob mcdonnell victory in virginia. seems like republicans were on a march and playing defense on issues relating to the economy. i think mitt felt in 2011 that he was compelled to get involved. with respect to his skills and jobs and the economy. that is why he got in at that precise moment. >> when he said the light switch went on? >> i do not think so. it is a process that happens over time. there are a number of factors to take into account. matt came up and we knew that he was moving in that direction.
>> you are in the white house. you're a political junkie. what was your -- did you find yourself obsessively following romney and the republicans? >> i think david has it right. we thought for a long time it would be romney. we would rank a republican from 1-10. we always viewed it as him. he would be a formidable candidate. we would say to ourselves, can it run me get through this primary? it turned out to be longer than we thought -- you can mitt romney -- can mitt romney get through this primary? it turned out to be longer
than we ought it would be. >> it was that period when it was getting hit by those brutal snowstorms. he was asking whether or not i would come up. he was talking about taking it up a notch. as the digital campaigns are a little bit different -- presidential campaigns are a little bit different. you go through this period were you think about running for
president. you finally come to the conclusion, i will run. he wanted did take it up a notch. he had a book that he was about to roll out. he asked me that day. when someone offers you something, you have to say, i have to think about it. the next day we were off and running. it all just happened. but the time i became campaign manager, i do not remember sitting down and having a formal interview. for better or worse, a kind of happened. >> david and jim, when did you
go into re-elect mode? in some form or another? >> it is sort of a sensation that got us going. >> 2010 election? >> no. the debt ceiling fight. there were thoughts. >> when did you move to chicago? >> it kicked into high gear. jim was putting the mechanisms into place. we were doing the things that had to be done. i think everyone that very focused, at least on the message side. the debt ceiling fight, the
numbers were as bad as they were throughout the whole presidency. the predecessors in washington were swirling around. our folks were nervous. it is clear that we were now in a situation where we had a fight and had to pull out of it. >> but the mechanism -- >> the mechanical things had to be done. we knew there'd be a big red married. we would -- there would be a big primary. it would come down to our advantage in terms of organization. >> when did you begin operationally? to do the programs and other things? >> i was there for 2009 and 2010. we knew what would come for the reelect. there were a lot of things that were under the radar. building on some of the internal polling that we did and really honing our 50 state strategy and training volunteers
and doing something to empower them. all of those things started really quickly after the president won his first election. we built off of that once we got to chicago. >> what about building this infrastructure? >> i showed up in april on a full-time basis. we started very early in april or may doing very intensive research. we tried to get a handle on what people were thinking out there. this was before the debt ceiling stuff. we knew people were weary of the economy. we wanted to see how we fit in and what was going on on the other side. by the time the debt ceiling hit, we had a good sense of the landscape. the debt ceiling, we were kind
of galvanized in this cohesion to move forward. >> stuart, what was your assumption of what the primary would be about before the announcement speech? writing all of that -- the public does not realize. you go back to the obama announcement speech. it lays out the entire message of the campaign. you are working on that and the governor is working on that. >> we talked about this a lot. we had a premise that we would not have an announcement speech that you could give the day before the general election. that was our goal. we got that the reagan announcement speech and used as
a model. it was one that was successful. it was a model of the speech that president reagan gave the day before. it was in the general election. we always believe that we wanted the primary to be about the economy. mitt romney would be that candidate of the economy. to beat mitt romney, you had to beat him on the economy. every candidate would have to trump them on that. we were fairly confident it could do that. the process of the primary would be a referendum on who was best suited to beat barack obama and face him.
not in an electability sense, but in a pragmatic sense. it is not one of those primaries where you go off and talk about why in a general election. that was the theory. when you go back and read the announcement speech, it could have been given before the general election. >> larry mentioned research that we were doing and i think that we would agree that we believe the race would be about the economy in some form or fashion. >> what is the definition of what the economy was?
>> all of the research that we did was largely about the way that people saw the economy from their own experience. there is this general sense that the middle class felt. there was real anger about wall street and the forces that they felt that were conspiring against them. we knew that we had an object that is to define the economy in our own terms. also the race to the last day, that definition of economic challenges was the census of the whole campaign. >> you guys were preparing to -- >> i know what you want me to stay. [laughter] >> remember that whole -- you know?
>> sometimes it is more important to begin the process of thinking of running for president. when you are in a primary, you cannot worry. look into their own decisions -- people came to their own decisions. there is those the inevitability of something happening in the primary that could shake everything up. there's no point to worry about one individual.
you have got to get in it. you cannot worry. >> did governor romney ever express to you -- >> rick perry got in late. there is someone else that would get in the race. you do not know who it will be. when rick perry got in, that this when we got -- >> did you know ssomeone else was going to run? on the republican side? >> you look at who is in the race and you prepare for that. >> like he was looking for a way to run?
>> you could see there were some intellectual space. you could see him try to get there. >> did governor -- he was the only talking about other people getting in. i'm sure it did not make you guys very happy. you remember governor romney calling governor daniels, are you in or out? >> what matt said is true. we do not sit around at the headquarters. it never influenced our way of thinking in one way or another.
>> within days of you guys announcing -- it was a couple of weeks before. explain the thinking behind why you felt the need to do when you did it. >> there was a lot of pressure internally in the party. whether or not the governor would change his position or what his position would be. it was important to get that off the table. let the chips fall where they may. >> do you feel like it got off the table? >> he became the nominee. healthcare was one of the major obstacles. what he put in place in
massachusetts and what the president did for the national healthcare plan, we got there were meaningful differences. mitt said this is the insight that make the math work. why do we not redirect that money and use it to subsidize health insurance for people who need assistance in buying their own coverage? that is different than the financing tokenism in the president's health care program. [talking over each other] >> it is out of pejorative. [laughter] >> that is what we worked on.
i think we made persuasive arguments. far more persuasive was economic condition of the economy. in our view, romney had superior job creation skills. >> jim, it looks like you guys are finding ways to talk about romney's health care. it was like, you use that to almost -- is that a fair -- >> we talked about his record. >> thank you for your help. >> it was strategic. anytime you talk about healthcare, you would mention romney. >> make sure people that understood the similarities between the two plans. it was easy to go to. >> it was important to do that while he was in the republican primary.
we wanted to make the process as long and as challenging for him. we understood that he would alternately be the nominee. without creating mischief was good. there is no doubt about it. much of the republican angst was built around opposition to the health care plan. it was a natural thing for his opponents to attack him for it. i know a lot of republicans didn't. >> it seemed to me that you guys were waiting as long as you possibly could. you engage on a staff level. >> september debates, when he looked at the calendar and saw there were 22 primary debates --
>> reforming the process -- >> when we looked at the calendar, there were three debates in september. that is when we prepared for that. >> larry, did you guys use the primary debate as organizing tools? >> it was a double edged sword for us. folks are really engage. they wanted to get involved to see what issues were being discussed in the primary. they wanted to volunteer. at the same time, we had folks saying the president -- >> the primary debate was taking
the party too far? >> exactly. people do not want to get as engaged as they were in the past. they do not want to get involved early. that was a challenge. >> that is exactly right. we put michelle obama out there in a big way. she really motivated the base. people saying, wake us up on the guy has a chance to meet us. >> what were you doing on debate nights? there were these national conversations on politics. on one side, what were you guys trying to do?
>> we are trying to enter into the commentary. they wanted to see how the message was unfolding. there are things that we kept good notes on. >> you have been quoted on this before, the issue of immigration and going after rick perry. you still stand by -- overreacting to perry? >> stuart says you have to go out and take it. at that moment in time during the american assess, rick -- process, rick perry was a very formidable opponent.
we were running a campaign used on jobs and the economy. this is the governor of a state. people would say -- we knew he was formidable. we began the debate process. we did some in the debate. >> very aggressive early. >> early on. and when he had written about on security. >> i think he used the phrase "ponzi scheme." >> he did. by the third debate and we open
>> no, no. i disagree with that. i think that for the republican primaries, like santorum, he was much more in sync with that than senator clinton was. obviously senator santorum did not have the formidable apparatus that hillary clinton had. >> do you think that it had -- >> what do we know about the republican party? what do we know about mitt romney? [laughter] >> i think that is a testament. he did not begin this with a national or geographical or
ideological base. in those debates, through skill, he took positions that people disagreed with like healthcare, but he given is the republican party that he had the qualities that he wanted to be the nominee. >> every week it was the new whack a mole. we went from perry to gingrich. >> herman cain was next. >> and then he blew up at the bloomberg debates. who were these? who were they? it seems like it was the same percentage of the electorate. >> governor perry was formidable. senator santorum -- anyone who underestimates him -- so much of running for president, the
guys and gals who work the hardest -- senator santorum has the work ethic. >> the minute you say that, oh, that is right. [laughter] >> thank you. if we are going head to head, he could take away some of the votes that we were going to garner. if they were up against governor pawlenti at that moment, that would have been more challenging. i think that was a 24 debate. >> 21 were on horrible networks.
the good ones are on nbc. i know that. [laughter] >> he is a pretty formidable debate opponent. you have to go out. someone will be the anti-mitt or anti-kerry. it is at a different situation in 2008 with the anti-bush. people at certain points in the campaign were not completely ready to close the deal. they went shopping elsewhere. during the primary, our campaign did a good job at whack a mole or whatever you want to call it. >> by the way, i went to give you credit. come on.
>> we were the campaign of people who were not even in the race. >> one guy was saying newt early on before anyone else did. >> he is an immensely talented individual. the impact of the super pacs -- there had been talks about the rnc. campaigns never end because people want them to end. they end because people run out of money. no one wakes up and says, you know, that is it. it is because they cannot keep the lights on or pay staffers. super pacs elongated the race in ways we have never seen before. romney had super pac help.
>> without the super pac, gingrich -- >> i think overall it served to keep candidates alive that would not have the fundraising ability otherwise. that is an important point when you study the whole process. >> you guys made a decision to go the super pac route. when did that hit you? >> i think david and jim can speak a little bit more to this.
the system was set up in a way that we had to make sure that we won. it was clear. the biggest lesson i learned in 2010 in terms of the super pacs that they were incredibly sophisticated. they all had money and they had a very coordinated message. >> there were a lot of democrats campaigning. when you would get that call, a lot of them would complain, "why are you doing this?" >> two things. >> i said this is a mistake we made. at that point, with it a right
decision. it was true who we were and what we were. but in the winter -- >> they were running a democratic super pac. >> correct. >> they were hoping they would get -- >> correct. an explosion of super pacs. there was the n.r.a. and all these groups. i wrote on my white board how much i thought they were going to spend. the number was $660 million and david looked at that and said we need to have a meeting. >> look, the reality is you can't play by two sets of rules. it was a frightening thing. looking at his white board was a chilling experience.
so we had to make an adjustment. but getting back to stewart's point in the primaries there, there was a guy who wrote a $10 million to newt gingrich who was flat out busted broke. one guy went to his, you know, checkbook and wrote a check and he's back in the game. it is a different game. >> when did you know you needed to be in the super pac game? was there ever a doubt that you guys were going to do this? >> i don't think there is ever a doubt. >> was it an added necessity or did you see it as a strategic advantage? >> it was just an inevitability. jim got the luxury of pushing that off, jim and david.
you guys were going to come to that decision sooner. >> did you think they would come to that decision? >> yes. >> when they saw the amount of money and you guys knew you had to do it from the get-go? >> we knew we had to do it. >> there is a rule, there is some coordination but not really communication. >> you could communicate 120 days before the first broadcast went up. maybe it is 90 days. why that exists, i'm not sure. we put, you know, very much -- we played by the rules. but before the campaign existed our future existed. >> i think that this whole question of the impact of these new rules is something that is greatly under appreciated. also, this is the first time
we've not had federal funding. >> on either side. >> right. in 1987, we knew that incumbent presidents were advantaged in a nonfederal system because you have four years to raise this money. on our white board we had $1 billion, which is the amount of money that we knew obama campaign could raise as an incumbent president. the system is in a crazy -- >> just to give you guys an idea. i want to throw some numbers out there. for bush and gore, after their conventions each spent $64 million. i believe that was one week of advertising in the month of august for both sides in 2012.
the word got out on bush and gore. people realized -- people knew where everybody stood. i want to go to -- before we get to the germ election and to the romney folks. where was the scariest moments in the primaries that you thought you might lose this thing? was it the michigan primaries? was it ohio? what was the o.s. moment? [laughter] >> i don't think we were in fear of losing it but the o.s. moment for me was south carolina. >> losing it or the margin?
>> putting gingrich back into the game. he outperformed in south carolina. we never thought we would crack the south carolina egg we did better in 2012 than we did in 2008. but it forced us to go into florida and turn on the jets. >> matt, stewart, any other different o.s. moments? >> i would say later on from a budget standpoint because that is what i was responsible for. there were moments during the primary process that got further and further along. there were big states that cost a lot of money and put up on tv. there were certain moments in our campaign that we took our bank down close to zero.
when you do that, there's a lot riding on performing well in that state. from a budget standpoint, there was a lot of decision making that i had to do and you start to think about staff that you might have to let go. that's just not -- these people -- they are human beings and it is brutal. that was the most brutal part of it. >> this is the post of the michigan -- >> south carolina was great. let's go down to florida. >> mine was the night we lost denver -- colorado, minnesota, and missouri. it was totally o.s. this is another month of this, really? i didn't feel like we were going to lose.
i had fun in south carolina -- not fun but i realized that mitt is the kind of candidate that can come back in florida and hit a long ball and do great. but that three-state loss that night meant that we were going to be -- >> the groundhog not seeing his shadow. >> stewart? >> michigan was a tough stretch, i thought. losing michigan would not have been a positive experience. we went into it -- >> in media it -- >> we went into it a very expensive state and it had a lot of symbolic ghosts and it was really hand to hand. you know, we did not win it by a landslide but we won it. >> so, larry they wrap up the nomination in april. i think there was a jobs report that came out that was in the toilet. >> you pick the one month.
>> no, but did it surprise you how fast romney -- that the party rational rallied around him so fast? every week we were keeping ourselves awake and let's see what is happening in this town? >> no, i think we were so -- we're such a partisan country and we never thought after this thing, it is the nonromney primary electorate is not going to gal vonize. that's our theory all along. there is this narrow little band that will decide this thing. there was never any doubt that the party would consolidate quickly. >> jim, was the plan always that you would announce after a week or two that the president would do the formal rollout.
if they wrapped it in march then you announce in april? >> we knew when we had to go. we knew exactly when we were going to go. we had that plan done by the end of the year. our big e.s. moment was we were worried they were going to end it after new hampshire. once we figured out they were going go long and to larry's moment -- >> so the best o.s. moment was our oh, good moment. >> right. we spent a lost time getting ready for that. >> may was the announcement. >> we knew we were going to launch -- we were back from the election day. we thought we had the resources to start in may. we wanted to hit it all at once. >> it was my understanding that the mitt that romney got the mom nakes that super pac ads would start the next day. >> the big surprise to us, we thought the super pac ads would
hit in january, february, and march when unprepared to deal with them. to this day, i still i'm confused why that didn't happen. if i'm running a super pac that is not affiliated to the republican candidates an i see what is going on in the republican side i better do some air cover right now. the president is getting a free pass right now. >> this is proof that there was no coordination. were you wondering where the calvary in april? >> i think the whole impact of the super pac ads is a fascinating subject. >> you're doing a whole week -- >> it's like any new development, like, tanks or machine guns, you know.
these things, what worked and what didn't work. i think -- what we discovered on our side to you are surprise and disappointment, was there were is up push ads done on the rodrod side but the impact they dad -- side did not have the result that we expected it to have. the most obvious answer, i think was because it was not coordinated with the campaign. i always worked better, as all ads do when you coordinate with the campaign and roll it out with your press and whour ole campaign -- who will campaign apparatus. they could not do that because they were not coordinating with the campaign. so they would make different ads that were good as they stood alone but they are -- as david observed they were not districting one message. so the obama campaign outspent
it 2:1 in advertising. if you look on paper, it was leveled out by the super pac ads but it was not what we thought. >> when you made the announcement, i was reading a transcript with your running mate in richmond. i said to you, i assume that you were not rolling out the president's endorsing gay marriage that was not the rollout plan for the first week of the campaign. is that fair to say? >> that's fair to say. that was not the december plan. >> that was not on the white board? >> not on the white board. >> david, talk a that. i said do you know about -- it
was the day before. we pretaped with biden and biden came out for gay marriage. i said you know this is going to make news on this. were you aware how big that was going to be sucking up that week? >> once you showed me that we were pretty clear on what was going to happen. >> another gay marriage week. >> so first week of the campaign and this is not the message you planned on kicking off with? >> yeah, it was -- it was challenging but it also is true that we all knew having talked to the president that he was going to take that step. so, yes, we would have taken it in a different -- >> you were going to do it before the convention? >> yeah. >> you did not want a platform fight. >> he was ready to do it. either he was going to get a question or -- yes, the convention issue was coming up
on us. there because lot of reasons for him to do it. we didn't plan on the vice president doing it first. [laughter] once he did, the truth is once he did it forced the issue. the truth of the matter is, we didn't know how the politics would all net out but the president, the way he handled it in the interview, how he spoke to it. jen, you can speak to it more than i. >> all of a sudden you had people -- this did increase supporters? >> absolutely. it frankly brought in the people that were part of the process even in 2008. it brought in new people and frankly most people didn't know behind the scenes of the back and forth so this part did not affect our supporters.
they thought this was something that they hoped the president would do and this made them want to get more engaged in the election. it was a boom for us. >> i put together a timeline to figure out how to have this conversation with you guys. everyone wants to say the debate is this and the convention is this. i think the month of june was the most important month of the campaign. on the obama side he does the immigration executive order on the dream act. then the supreme court decision on health care. it because big financial month for you guys. that's when you -- i want to go to sort of all three of those issues. let's start with the health care decision. were you guys planning for a reversal? were you assuming it would be overturned? it seemed like to me you guys were caught off guard. >> no.
>> no, i think we had -- >> we were caught off guard like everybody by the mechanism in which it was sustained. the robert's ruling. >> we have not contemplated that. >> there was ain't lot of pregame speculation. >> you were not gaming it out? >> we thought it would go. we had -- sort of a water cooler situation on what it would be -- discussion that it would be. >> how important was that decision? >> we had our own water cool enan our own discussion. i think, you know, we contemplated what might happen. you couldn't escape the fact that this was a signature
achievement of the president's first term. had it been reversed, i think it would have been negative affects on us. >> i never understood that the argument would be a positive for him if it was overturned. >> we didn't either. >> i think i was wrong that it would have been positive for him because the argument would have been it would taken out a lot of the energy on the republican base. to overturn obamacare -- to keep it in the electoral factory you have to vote against obama. i think i was wrong. >> i would say two things. one, a win is a win. it was in a time where the president was getting beaten up.
>> it is just our turn in the barrel. >> something positive happening was good. second, our vote always coorl lated with the view of people's affordable care act. after the ruling, the affordable care act's favorability went up. there was a lifting of the ceiling there which was very real. >> june turned out to be a bigger fund-raising month than you guys expected. is that fair to say? >> yeah. >> i heard versions of this. did you change how you would do july? did it change the timing on a trip overseas? what did the june fund-raising boost free you up to do? >> one of the biggest challenging we had -- >> that was the first month you
outraised obama. >> yeah. that was the first challenges we had and we had raised $87 million in $2,500 churnings. so a lot of the money we raised was victory money that we were using to grow the party and build out the infrastructure. we certainly, phased a financial disadvantage and -- every time i look at what didn't work out for us as a campaign or organization it is usually tied back to come bency. during this period, we were raising a lot of money but it was not money we could immediately send out the door and put on tv. >> a very small percentage of it in fact.
we would have these morning meetings and these numbers came in and there's this perception out there that we're raking in the money. our donors would called and say why are you not on tv, it was very frustrating to us. >> very few reporters would explain it. >> we could do these little numbers. >> look they raised $100 million. >> the only money we could spend on tv wfer the convention was primary dollars raised under the $2,500 limit. and that is how the system is currently structured. >> we need more of that money. >> in july, when you won a primary to go and raise primary dollars. >> you did not have that other -- you had the luxury in your primary, david, where you had these clinton donors who never gave you money in 2008 and suddenly they could max out tow you for the first time.
you didn't have that. >> the biggest difference is they had someone who was not going to -- they were not going to take federal financing versus mccain who was. so that gives them the ability to raise unlimited money and mccain was locked in. >> on the primary side, there was nobody that had a fund- raising list. there is knob that had new names for you. is that fair to say? >> there were some. le >> our theories were that, david, these guys made the decision of it is better to spend the money early than to spent it late. during this period where we're facing this challenge we did a few things. our goal was to use the money that we were raising in big chunks and have the r.n.c. set up an independent expenditure that ran ads over the summer.
that probably occurred -- they moved that timetable up earlier than they would have otherwise. >> you had more money. >> the other thing we had going on was super pacs. we believed, as david said earlier, at that moment there would be a lot of super pac activity. we needed the super pacs and the i.e. and also during this period, the governor signed off on a $20 million loan that allowed us to use primary money that we repaid back with general money through f.c.c. law. we saw what was going on. we worked to try to compete with what they were doing, but clearly they had more resources at the time.
>> if i can take one minute and larry you could chime in because you and jim were -- this was a thing we cooked up together. i think one of the most significant decisions we made was to bet on the front end of the campaign. i do believe and make we can have a discussion about it but in the month of october, ads made much less because there's so much coverage because the debates are so dominant. we had to define mitt romney before the conventions. it was better to -- larry's proposition to bet on a -- take money out of september and october and put it into may, june, and july. the other thing that happened in june was when we ran ads on mitt romney. >> we moved $63 million from spring into the summer. >> the al gore tv budget for the
entire tv campaign you moved in the account? >> david looked at him and said this is the right decision and we have to do this right now. jen was seeing that we were not where we needed to be with latinos and we dumped a large amount of money. we were, you know, we had to look at the president of the united states and say this is our best guess. >> jen, explain what the immigration -- i'm sticking to june, what the immigration executive order meant? >> it was so important for us. we knew that if we were going to win in florida, colorado, nevada, we had to have unique programs based on the type of
voters in those states. we also had a lot of young people that were excited about the dream act. young people were highlighting what they believed and why they wanted the administration to act. as much as we had so much going for us to communicate to latinos, the dream act was hard for us. having that executive order, really brought, not just the community to the front a little bit more but young people. it took them thinking good thoughts on the president to taking action and supporting the president. ini'm only in july and i'm trouble because i want people to ask you guys question. i'm going to take a couple of more minutes on my questions then i want to mix in some of these students. you can start lining up on the microphone.
when did you have your first meeting? >> april. >> with the governor. had you started before that? >> no. i had a list of candidates to get -- a big list -- >> take a look. >> do you like these guys? don't like these guys? i got some more. then he widdles it down from there. >> i know you're not going to tell us a lot about the process. >> go ahead. [laughter] >> what were some of the weird questions that maybe, a potential v.p. candidate had for you that surprised you? >> well, i tell you like weird moments were when i would meet with these guys and ask them really personal questions. i think the dynamic was interesting. i'm a woman asking them, i can talk about paul ryan.
i sat down with him and said, tell me about your dating life in washington, d.c. [laughter] it was a bit of an awkward moment but that was -- they originally gave me a room without a suite attached. i called down that we're not going to sit cross-legged on the bed and talk a this. so they gave me a -- an enormous suite which i found to be appropriate. [laughter] it was an interesting way to -- i didn't have to ask any really embarrassing questions. >> anyone that you met that you did -- >> some loose ends to tie up. i was aware that mitt had said he didn't want anyone to have an issue that was a distraction. so, you know, some of the things that we asked them about the perm questions or -- personal
questions or in the public domain that needed to be followed up on i did that in person. >> stewart or matt, how many people came to you and say could you please put me on the list? like, would you have republicans going i just -- i don't want to be vetted but i would love to be floated please. how does that happen? >> people call in and say -- i'm not much of a small talker so i don't get it as much as other people. >> donors all had opinions, right? >> yeah, they all had opinions. the whole v.p. selection process was excellently run by beth and a close process in the campaign, unless the governor brought you into deliberations and he did do that from time to time.
but i was amazed at the fact there wasn't a lot of leaking. i think the individuals who did go through that process respected the confidence in which their discussions of the campaign were held. and i think we ended up with the a great result. with the selection of paul ryan people thought we shot ourselves in the foot because we took the issue of entitlement reform, specifically medicare and the congressman's plans to transform the medicare system and put that at the top of the campaign. but we actually ended up winning seniors and we won seniors in florida. one of the positive legacies of the romney campaign is we showed republicans can take on these tough issues and win. >> you guys -- none of you
thought it would be ryan, right? you went public about another candidate, right? >> that was portman because i looked at ohio. >> i had the ryan thing pegged. [laughter] >> i didn't actually care. [laughter] >> what would have made a difference in ohio? would he make a difference in iowa? were there some people that popped more than others? >> sure. you can say that ryan was one of those people. the reality is ryan helped us in wisconsin. wisconsin was a place -- i think it was five elections before november. they had a recall. they were just tired. they were tired of volunteering, they were tired of elections so what happened to us is when ryan was picked it engaged our voters.
they got a second wind and they were going to do more. the impact was less than people anticipated. >> let's go to a question. don't make a speech. that's all i ask. no political speeches just ask a question. >> thank you all for having this event. my question is geared towards the romney camp. following the first presidential debate between the two candidates. there was a point that carried over where the momentum changed, at least in the media. i know that jim, following the election, there was a point where you talked about the accuracy of your polling numbers. does those numbers reflect in the same thing because there was a change on how romney was carrying himself and being depicted in the media. >> thank you for bringing up the
denver debate. [laughter] >> i was going to get there. i was going to get there. >> yeah, it changed the structure of the race. and we saw that in our polling. people who may have closed their mind to governor romney suddenly reopened it. and it made for a much better october than september. because in september, we were dealing with the fallout from the 47% video. so the denver debate was a real quick pivot for us. and we did experience a lift in the polling. we saw it in the state and nationally. we were receiving more donations. we re-energized republicans whose interest in the interest was flagging a little bit because of the 47% video. so all in all, that was one of the high points of the campaign. >> jim, did you see the hit in the polls and when did you stop
falling in the polls? >> we saw in our internal numbers was they got back what they lost from the 47%. literally went like this, this, and came right back to where it was. but we never went behind. we never went down less than -- never -- our lead never shrunk less than 2 1/2 points. we were pretty sure that we were ok the entire time. >> did you see an energy issue? >> we did. it was tough for our folks and so excited about the debate, they felt let down. they felt in part they were out there working so hard every single day and maybe they were concerned about how the president did in relationship to their hard work. so it was definitely tough. and rebounded quickly. but it took us some time to communicate. >> so correct me if i'm wrong about this, one of the unintended or unexpected things about this, we were a little complacent i think in september. september went better than we ever imagined.
>> we or was the president complacent? there was this assumption that he was complacent. >> i don't think he was complacent. but i do think it's natural, you know, to feel like -- look, all i got to do is tie in this debate. because we're in a good position. i just have to do well enough. and you never want to go into a debate with that attitude. mitt romney knew that his back was against the wall. he had to perform in that debate. had he not performed in that debate, the election was over. he had -- the conventions fell in our favor. the 47% tape was very, very tough. a lot of independents who leaned republican had gone away from him. and he had to perform in that debate. and the reverse was -- i don't think we were in quite the same position. but the second debate was the reverse. we had to perform. we knew we couldn't have a second bad debate. but what i was going to say is i think there was actually -- there was some increase in
volunteerism after the debate. because people began to worry that maybe this thing was -- was actually at risk. >> matt, talk about this polling thing. i know this has been -- it's among the great sort of -- what -- what were -- do you believe you were seeing different numbers than the obama campaign? >> well, i think there's this -- i don't even know if it's a debate anymore but there's a belief that many republican pollsters across the country were just using a model that at the end of the day just wasn't -- >> an out of date model? >> wasn't accurate for this election. so, you know, there was clearly coming out of that first debate, whether the numbers shift was as great as eric said or as what jim says it was equal to, it just did transform the race. and i think the day before that debate, i don't think anyone thought it was ever going to be close again. and after that debate, i think that there was a perception
because the campaign and governor romney did perform well coming out of that debate. and i think that we had a good period of time in between the first and second debate where people thought -- >> the longest gap between two debates in the modern era. >> it felt like -- >> time flew for us. we were having so much fun. >> it was extra long for us. >> polling, polling is not a betting mechanism in campaigns. it's used to direct campaigns and it's something that is sort of people forget. it's not to cover the spread. it's to guide you in the campaign. and if you look at the -- point one. point two, the nbc wall street poll, in the campaign, there was seven voters different in that poll. not seven points but seven voters out of a sample of i
think 1,800 votes. that's a pretty close race. when you have seven voters' difference. we were behind those seven votes. but a lot of interesting polling, studies that can be done, and analogies. but i think that neil did a fantastic job guiding us in this campaign. >> our pollster, neil newhouse, very depressing often talking to him. >> we wouldn't have gotten the nomination without neil. and the input they'd into our decision making. >> monday night knew how -- two principal campaign pollsters and john harwood will be moderating that discussion and we'll have a full discussion on that. >> let's go. the next question. >> hi there. the subject of the independent candidates came up briefly. and i was wondering if there was any point where either team was worried about the possible impact of gary johnson or ron
paul making a serious market on the election and whether you took any action to mitigate that possibility. >> i'm going to re-ask your question and there was a point in the fall of 2011, jim messina, where you and i would have conversations -- i was convinced there was going to be a serious third party candidate of this americans elect. you were convinced of it. that it was a potential threat. why were you convinced it was a threat? >> if you look at 1992 and the incumbent president, you just don't know who they're going to take votes from. and at the time as david said earlier, we were going through a brutal time after the debt limit. and this was not a good time for us. and we looked at who those potential candidates could be. and some of them could drop on us. on the gary johnson thing, we did look closely at that. and jen and i had discussions about his pro-marijuana positions and what that did to us in colorado. >> you thought that could hurt you and take votes away from you guys. >> there was a theory that it could take young students.
>> a marijuana ballot initiative in colorado. >> larry, you can speak to this, that no matter who we looked at at the end of the day, we didn't lose out. because people were -- people didn't want to be for us, but didn't want to be for someone, they would default there. so they already had made a judgment about us. and so we ultimately concluded that an independent wouldn't hurt us. >> your floor was in the 40's. >> we had obama -- >> bush in 1992 had lower floors. >> there were obama voters and people open to an alternative. >> obama was over 40. >> and where we put a third person in there, it would split up those people looking for an alternative. >> did you ever run bloomberg? >> we did. >> yeah, we did. >> matt, did you ever think there was going to be that -- forget gary johnson or ron paul but that moderate, somebody that was going to split, the country is polarized and the bloomberg type or whatever? reallyn't think i ever
thought about that seriously. but to the questioner's questions, dr. paul, dr. paul is someone that we took serious from the beginning of our primary right up to the day of our convention when mitt was nominated. and we were fortunate, dr. we were fortunate dr. paul and his supporters and anyone that underestimated them was at their own peril. we were fortunate the governor had developed a relationship. >> also between the spouses. >> yeah. i think they had debated 37 times together. >> wow. >> another governor is on of of dr. paul. he is a nice man. he always took dr. paul seriously in the primary. we were happy that he stayed. >> did think if it were not for
that relationship, he might have been tempted? >> are do not know. -- i do not know. >> i would like to get a take from both sides. in hindsight, is there any thing campaign strategy wise that is done differently might have changed the outcome of the campaign, or if there are other factors, including demographics , that were too great to reverse outcome of the campaign? >> what is one thing you would like to change and rerun the campaign? >> i hate questions like that. [laughter] >> i love it. >> great question.
i had a lot of sleepless nights inking about that. -- thinking about that. can we skip that? [laughter] i do not think a campaign turns in one moment. on one hand you can sayskip -- one one hand we could've won the primary earlier. we were close to winning the primary earlier. history will show that is a candidate do p for
to do. other than that -- >> what would you do? >> you have to give the obama campaign a good deal of credit. they increase the turnout of women, young voters, hispanic voters, and even african american voters. they surpassed, especially in ohio. but ultimately, the reason that obama won is because the economy got better. this is a central reason for the rationale of the campaign. when mitt and announce the unemployment rate was 10% and in the last month of the campaign was 7.8%, the trend
was that we were going in the right direction. the economy showed improvement. >> that is no fun. that is academic answer. what is the one thing you would not have changed? >> election day. [laughter] >> what is something that happened in your favorite? -- favor? taking the same question in reverse. >> let me say that i think the answer might have been academic, but i do not think it was inconsequential. our great fear was that there would be a reversal on the numbers were start going backwards. >> like last month. [laughter] >> keeping track. >> that would've put us in uncharted waters.
that was a concern. they got outspent 2-1. technically that is true. he made the point that he did not believe super pac spending was helpful, but it was immense. there is great value to incumbency. no question about it. we have looked at president bush's campaign in 2004. he was in a difficult situation similar to us. he worked hard to turn it into a choice and it was not a referendum election. we did the same thing. we have advantage of being able to plan plan and do our work over a long period of time. that was advantageous. they paid a high price for that nomination. i'm not criticizing because you
cannot be president unless you get nominated. this is a difficult environment for the republican primaries. the debates were brutal. in order to get through those, governor romney took some position and use some languages that you probably would not have done. that made it hard. that set up a very difficult general election. >> would you have done anything differently? >> i would have liked to have about 10 fewer primary debates. it sapped energy. >> what is something you could not have done without? >> well, it has been said that then nominee process that romney had to go through was a great asset.
in addition to everyone focusing on the bain stuff, we had the earliest and longest hispanic media of any campaign in presidential history. second, we also started a women 's track of history. both tracks really focused on statements he made. [talking over each other] >> next question. >> on election day, there were reports regarding suburban counties in korda and virginia and that romney had a strong
turnout. those reports were erroneous. had you change your policies and believe function -- how do you change a policies and function? >> did you know we are still counting votes in some places? matt, do you want to take that? >> i think that the republican party needs to catch up on the voter turnout side. i hate going back to it, but it is true. i'm not trying to use it as an excuse or a crutch. our party needs to focus on investing the resources as soon as possible and figure out the
best tools we can use on the political side to not only catch, but to potentially succeed so whoever gets the nomination in 2016 has a party apparatus behind them. close asood as havin possible. i do not remember specifically, but i do not remember what you are talking about. >> when did you know your buddy hit all the target? -- you were going to hit all the targets? >> i was pretty confident. i was probably more confident than jim. they felt like our plan was solid and numbers were rolling
out. our election they started in september. iowa had early votes. we did not do as many early votes in 2008 as we did in 2012. we stopped worrying about polling. we will look at exactly who was voting in the states that had early voting. we were able to save this is the turnout we are seeing. we felt let owes numbers were matching what we expected to see. -- we were seeing numbers matching what we were expecting to see. >> when they talked about the early vote -- >> in the fog of war you do not know what is happening.
we talked about the impact of hurricane sandy. it was a force that was negative for the romney campaign in the sense that it was about -- the first thing you learn about campaigns is agenda control. he lost control of the agenda. look, every campaign needs to seem competent. there is reason to be confident. there are predictive qualities that people follow. one of the adjusting things if you read nate silver's book is that he talked of the predictive qualities of people following. >> the election is over because
stevens is quoting nate silver now. [laughter] >> his book is interesting. we were overconfident. i think that has been overplayed. they history of people flocking to barricades of campaigns and saying that we have a shot is not particularly rate. -- great. >> motivate people. >> looks like we will go at the last question and then we will have a wrapup question. >> to what extent do you think that social issues took the conversation away from the economy that romney wanted to talk about? >> you guys quickly try to stop when that popped. you do that before. there were some conservatives
who were upset. >> our goal from day one was to try to keep the debate in the houseign in romney's wheel and that was jobs with a s prinkle of spending. we tried hard to focus on those issues. that is where we felt it focused on his strength. we always try the best that we could to edit back to jobs and the economy. sometimes they were successful and sometimes we were not. we did try to do that. >> i want to wrap the site. i think i know from the romney site what is the one thing they would change about the process and that is fewer debates.
first of is coming up in a couple of weeks. [laughter] we did not talk about the conventions. on the conventions, there are all sorts of ways to talk about them. are they too late? four years from now, will they be earlier and should they be earlier and shorter? i want everyone to chime in on this here and >. >> i do think that they are too late. we will continue to look at that. i think the whole convention system needs to be looked at. i think that is good. in the united states of america, people should not wait six hours in line to vote. both parties agree on that. >> the only reason the
conventions are late is because people have figured out in the pundit system that you get the same amount of money to spend if you have that check in july. i think the people look at two points -- the convention should be earlier if he do not have the funding, that i hope and pray that we can go to a system that has some federal funding. it is -- the system we have now is all about corruption that we hated about the watergate. history has shown that it we take these limits off, we can do better. these billion-dollar campaigns are an abomination. we saw it now when have people campaigning and there are heavy fundraising schedules and set a meeting with voters.
-- instead of meeting voters. >> unbelievable amazing. will will -- where will the convention be in four years? >> these guys have wrapped up in the finance problem. second thing it does that is the bigger thing is that it is a moment where people pay attention and focus. there is a chance to edit across in a significant way who you are. if you remember the gore convention, it was a big moment. the clinton convention was a good moment. if you look at those things, even at the technical nominating thing back to the end of the primary. i kind of like the timing of that, the big moment. when he talked about what is the
rhythm, you have got the vice presidential nominations and the convention and the debate. to have that big moment in the fall when people a attention makes a lot more sense and to do it in june when people are not ready for it. >> i think it is an awkward part of the campaign between the time mary and the convention. -- the time mary -- primary and the convention. it will inevitably become earlier. >> you want to shrink that process? >> i'm efficient the time between the primary and the nomination. -- i want to shrink the time between the primary and the nomination. the general election is four months and that is a good thing. >> i think about how we use the convention.
we try to make it more than just the people in the room. it is about putting in a competitive state where we have a voter registration. we have to build bigger than just that room for other people to feeling gauge. -- engage. if th you have it earlier, it ds harder to do it in the summer when people are not engaged. >> i agree with these guys. we got a lot out of the conventions. >> war than you thought? >> -- more than you thought? >> more than we thought. there are different forces within the conventions. they had a four-day convention that became the three-day convention. >> i can tell you that florida
and north carolina -- both at your parties i could not believe. it was inevitable that one of them would get hit by a hurricane. [laughter] >> let me say this before we wrap up. two things -- i hope that we find a way to free ourselves from the tyranny of public polling. it dominated the coverage of this campaign in a way that it has not been before. the kiosk full is the ap story of the day. it is a destructive thing. >> polling in general doesn't. -- does it. >> i'm proud to sit on this platform with these guys. it has been a pleasure to be with them in the postelection
discussion. it reminds me of the fact that we might have different views, but we share a great passion for the process. i would be remiss if i did not say that. >> they are all cut from the same cloth, but two different sets of ideology. >> i love the pageantry of conventions. i regret that they now have the feel of east berlin where there is a lot of barb wire. there is no better platform for introducing a candidate and the principles of a party. we use the convention as an opportunity to talk about the personal side of mitt romney. people said that was missing from the campaign. he wanted to make a big splash at the convention. >> what will you say about the
window? he picks first and democrats will go last. what you tell them to go early? >> i am optimistic by conventions are important. i agree a lot with what he talked about to engage people. it is an opportunity to take over tv for a few nights. i'm pretty optimistic -- >> how about earlier? >> i do think they need to be earlier. it will have an impact for many years. it will be part of the presidential campaign process. there are some people who are dumping on conventions. will they even exist one day? i think they are in important part of the process. >> my boss might want to get rid
of them, but i love them. anyway, thank you. we had a great audience. [applause] i apologize for everything we did not get to. >> we have five weeks to talk about it, so come back. [laughter] [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] >> on the next "washington journal" a roundtable on
sequestration with todd zwillic h from public radio international. and leslie clark from mcclatchy newspapers. "washington journal" live on sunday at 7 a.m. eastern. we will bring you more from that national governors association winter meeting tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. eastern. they will be talking about employing people with disabilities. that will be alibi a discussion on education. tomorrow on "newsmakers" the new chairman. he talks about immigration and gun control and his plans for the committee going forward. that is at a special time on sunday at 11 a.m. eastern and again at 6 p.m. here on c-span.
>> the book concludes with lincoln attempting to -- we're talking a lot about meteors hitting the earth eer at this te there is talk about a meter, and destroying the earth eerie one of lincoln's friends is talking about it erie it they talk about it 12 years later when they meet again. he fails. that is a good thing he fails, right? he is not moving to the forefront of the party. it at the time, he was quite the person when he got passed over. he went back to the hotel and laid on the bed for an hour. of hisght it was a enthe end
career. as we all know, history had something better for him down the road. he headed back to the state of illinois as if nothing happened. >> on basement abraham lincoln arrived in washington. chri , this weekend on "book tv" on c-span 2. . >> the house gavels back in on monday at 2 p.m. on legislative business. let coverage of the house here on c-span. the senate also gavels in at 2 p.m. with kelly ayotte reading washington's their religious. i 5 p.m., they will nominate a nomination for the 10th circuit court and vote on his confirmation at i 30 p.m. also, the confirmation vote for
chuck hagel for defense secretary. live coverage of the senate when it returns on c-span 2. >> i joined president obama today in asserting with urgency that our citizens deserve a strong foreign-policy to protect our interest in the world. a wise investment in foreign- policy can yield the same return for a nation that education does for a student. no investment that we make that is as strong as this investment puts forward such a sizable benefit for ourselves and our fellow citizens of the world you'. that is why i wanted to he the hummers issue with you today -- that is why i wanted to have this conversation with you
today. when i talk about a small investment in foreign-policy in the united states, i mean it. not so long ago, someone asked the american people, how big is our international affairs budget? most i get at any five percent of our national budget. -- 25% of of our national budget. they wanted to. back to 10% of the national budget. if only that were true. that is 10 times greater than what we actually invest. our foreign-policy budget is only 1%. over 1% funds also billion in foreign affairs efforts. every embassy in every program that sees a child from dirty
drinking water or from aids and reaches out to build a village and bring american values. we are not talking about any's on the dollar. you're talking about one penny honest about. where does this idea come from that we spend 25% of our budget? as a recovering politician, i can tell you that nothing gets a crowd clapping faster in a lot of places then saying, i'm going to washington to get them to stop spending all of that money over there. sometimes they get a lot more specific. if you're looking for and applause, that is a guarantee. guess what? it does nothing to guarantee our security. and does not guarantee a stronger country. it does not guarantee a sounder country or sounder job market.
ed does not guarantee that the best interest of our nation is being served. -- it does not guarantee that the best interest of our nation is being served. we need to say no to the commons of the low waest denominator and start making real choices that protect the interest of our country. that is imperative. [applause] >> you can watch all of secretary kerry's speech on us foreign policy at the university of virginia sunday at 4 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> beginning with the state of union address earlier this month, president obama began laying out a framework for enhanced cybersecurity